Person typing in a code on a home security alarm system
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Update, 01/10/2023: We’ve reviewed our recommendations and have picked a new home security system for our budget category.

What to Look for in a Home Security System in 2023

There are countless home security systems on the market. Many of them come with different features, equipment, and plans, so it can be hard to choose the best one for you.

When it comes to keeping your home safe, you need something reliable. It’s always best to go with a quality security system than a cheaper one that might not work as intended. Prioritize safety over everything else!

Depending on the size of your home, you’ll want a system that can cover every entrance point, including all doors and windows. Security systems may not come with enough gear to cover your home completely, so they should allow you to add more if needed. Of course, you’ll need to pay for additional equipment, but it’s worth it for the peace of mind.

You’ll also need a base station to keep all your equipment connected and running at all times. Ideally, your base station should function normally after a power outage, so your safety won’t be jeopardized.

If your alarm’s on, the sirens must go off immediately if someone tries to break into your home. You should then have quick and easy access to emergency help through an app, panic button, or monitoring team.

Most security systems will offer professional monitoring through a protection plan. If you choose to get one, a professional should help ensure your home is secured whenever an intruder is detected. They will take care of contacting the police and informing you of the situation.

With all of this, let’s take a closer look at some of the best smart home security systems available.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do home security systems work?

When armed, security systems monitor your home for motion and sound. If anything is detected, an alarm is triggered. This can be anything from a message to your smartphone to an audible siren. In short, security systems alert you to the presence of anything unusual in your home or on your property.

Does a security system add value to your home?

Many experts believe a premium, properly installed security system can boost the value of your home.

Do home security systems deter crime?

Yes. While nothing is foolproof, the presence of alarms and cameras is often enough to deter criminals from your home.

Do I need a permit for a home security system?

This depends on your location. Some areas require a permit for security systems with an audible alert, but you should also remember that additional permits may be needed if you are rewiring your home or performing construction during the installation process. You may also need board approval if you’re part of an HOA.

Best Home Security System Overall: SimpliSafe Wireless Home Security System

Simplisafe security hub on table


  • Three-year warranty
  • Includes a panic button and SimpliCam camera
  • Comes with plenty of equipment
  • Fast and easy setup
  • 24-hour battery life with dual Wi-Fi and cellular connections for power outages


  • Slightly expensive

If you’re unsure of which security system to go with, we recommend the SimpliSafe Wireless Home Security System. It’s priced at $393 and comes with everything you need.

You’ll be surprised at the amount of equipment that comes in Simplisafe’s kit. There are 12 items in total, including a base station, a keypad to arm or disarm the alarm, four entry sensors to guard windows and doors, and two motion sensors for added protection. You can add more sensors if you’d like, with a limit of 100 total.

There’s also a panic button that triggers the alarm. We recommend setting it up in your bedroom for quick access. Lastly, there’s the SimpliCam camera that you can set up to monitor your home–it just needs to be plugged in. You can able to view the camera from your phone, laptop, or tablet.

If your power shuts off, your devices still have a 24-hour battery life with dual Wi-Fi and cellular connections to keep them online. The security system also works with Alexa and Google Assistant.

Even with all this equipment, you can set everything up and have it running within 30 minutes. Once you plug in the base station and place all the sensors where you want them, you’re good to go!

SimpliSafe monitoring plans start at $15/month, giving you 24/7 professional monitoring without any contracts. They’re not required, but without the plan, you won’t have professional support when you receive an alert.

Best Home Security System Overall

SimpliSafe Wireless Home Security System

SimpliSafe's 12-piece home security kit comes with everything you need to safeguard your home. It even comes with a panic button!

Best Budget Home Security System: SimpliSafe 5-Piece Wireless Home Security System

Simplisafe 5 piece security system in lightbox


  • No contract needed
  • Easy installation
  • Alexa and Google Assistant compatible


  • Only a 5-piece setup
  • Not recommended for large homes

If you don’t need the expansive coverage offered by SimpliSafe’s 12-Piece Security System listed above, consider picking up the affordable SimpliSafe 5-Piece Wireless Home Security System instead. It offers many of the same features, and it clocks in at $200, making it a great option for frugal shoppers.

Installing this SimpliSafe system is even easier than the 12-piece system, and most users can have it running in less than 30 minutes. Your purchase includes a keypad to arm or disarm the system, a base station that controls the action, a keyfob with a secret panic button, an entry sensor for a door or window, and a motion sensor for added protection.

That’s a decent amount of gear for its price—although it’s not suitable for large households with multiple entryways. Instead, this basic system is intended for small homes or apartments. If you need to upgrade, additional products can be quickly integrated without reworking your entire system.

Toss in support for Alexa and Google Assistant, optional professional monitoring plans, and a robust smartphone app, and it’s easy to see why this package beats other budget security systems.

Best Budget Home Security System

SimpliSafe 5-Piece Wireless Home Security System

This setup is a bit small for larger homes, but it's a great entry point for folks looking to start a security system that live in a small house or apartment.

Best DIY Home Security System: Ring Alarm 8-Piece Kit (2nd Gen)

Ring security system pad on kitchen counter


  • Includes a range extender
  • Affordable
  • Simple setup
  • Integrates with other Ring products


  • Only compatible with Alexa

Ring’s well-known for providing exceptional security gear, and the Ring Alarm 8-Piece Kit is no exception. The Ring security system costs $250 and is the perfect addition to your DIY home.

There are eight total pieces in this home security kit, including a base station, a keypad, a range extender to ensure all your devices have a signal, a motion detector, and four entry sensors for your doors and windows. You can add additional Ring sensors if you’d like.

Like installing individual Ring products, you can set up each piece wherever you’d like, and you’re good to go. You won’t need anything that isn’t included in the box. It’s an easy and fast installation ideal for a 1-2 bedroom home between 1,000 and 2,000 square feet.

The security system integrates with other Ring products so that you can control everything from the Ring app. It’s where you’ll receive alerts and all other notifications. The system also works with Alexa for more hands-free control and monitoring.

There’s a backup battery in case your power shuts off, but you’ll need to get the Ring Protect Pro plan for alarm cellular backup. Getting the plan is optional and costs $20/month. You’ll receive 24/7 professional monitoring–the basic plan won’t work as it’s only for one Ring doorbell or camera.

Best DIY Home Security System

Ring Alarm 8-Piece Kit

The Ring Alarm 8-piece kit is perfect for DIY homeowners looking to safeguard their homes. You can control everything from the Ring app.

Best Professional Home Security System: Vivint Home Security

Vivnt security camera


  • Lifetime warranty for all equipment
  • Customize your entire home security package
  • No down payment with consumer financing
  • App control for smart home and security devices
  • Professionals set up everything for you


  • Can be expensive
  • Requires professional monitoring plan for remote access and access to app

Want to take your home security to the next level? Vivint Home Security is a professional system that offers customizable installations. Call the company to receive a free quote—discuss what you’re looking for and they’ll help you find a good deal.

Vivint has so much to offer that they require you to give them a call to find a system that works for you. You’ll talk to one of their professionals about your home and the type of protection you want.

All systems come with a home base and security sensors. You can then choose all other security devices you want. There’s everything from smart locks, smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detectors, indoor and outdoor cameras, key fobs, door and window sensors, glass break detectors, garage door controllers, freeze and flood sensors, and more.

Once you verify everything you want, Vivint will book a date to install all the equipment for you for $50. They’ll send their team of smart home professionals to inspect your home and get everything set up.

There’s a $0 down payment if you decide to finance all the equipment yourself, but this puts you in a contract. If you cancel the contract early, you’ll need to pay everything you owe on equipment and monitoring. You’ll be making monthly payments until your desired security equipment is paid off. You can instead pay for all the equipment upfront, as well.

This is on top of the monitoring plan that starts at $20/month, but it’s optional. With the plan, you’ll receive 24/7 professional monitoring and technical support, and access to the mobile app. Vivint also works with Alexa, Google Assistant, and several smart home devices such as the Nest Thermostat and Philips Hue Lights.

Best Professional Home Security System

Vivint Home Security

Vivint Home Security offers the highest level of protection for your home with full customization and professional monitoring plans.

Best Smart Home Compatible Security System: Abode Home Security Kit

Abode security pad on wall


  • Works with Alexa, Google Assistant, Apple HomeKit, and IFTTT
  • Compatible with many smart home brands
  • Affordable starting kit
  • Quick and easy set up


  • Only comes with four pieces of equipment

If you want a security system that integrates well with your smart home base, then go with the Abode Home Security Kit. It costs $200 and is incredibly flexible in terms of compatibility.

The Abode Home Kit pairs with several smart home brands. You won’t have any trouble connecting third-party devices like Ecobee thermostats, Schlage locks, and Philips Hue bulbs to your smart home system. It’s like turning your security kit into a smart home hub, but you’re limited to 160 total devices.

There are four items in the kit, including a home base, a key fob, a motion sensor, and a mini entry sensor (called a door sensor). You can add more security devices if you’d like, including door and motion sensors, water leak sensors, indoor and outdoor cameras, and panic buttons.

Installing the Abode security system is fast and painless, and you can get it done within 30 minutes. No extra tools outside of the box are required. You can use the Abode app to follow a guide on setting everything up.

Once set up, you can control and monitor everything from the Abode app. The system works with Alexa, Google Home, IFTTT, and Apple Homekit. With so many compatible devices, you can turn your smart home into the ultimate security system.

You can purchase the Abode Pro Plan for 24/7 professional monitoring for 66 cents/day (about $240/year). The plan provides cellular backup in case your internet shuts off, as well as several other benefits such as video storage and in-app panic alarms.

Best Smart Home Compatible Security System

Abode Home Security Kit

Get your hands on the Abode Home Security Kit to turn your home into the ultimate home security hub!

The Best Security Cameras of 2023

Arlo Pro 4 Spotlight Camera
Best Security Camera Overall
Arlo Pro 4 Spotlight Camera
TP-Link Kasa Smart 2K
Best Budget Security Camera
TP-Link Kasa Smart 2K
Google Nest Cam
Best Outdoor Security Camera
Google Nest Cam
Ring Stick Up Cam Battery
Best Wireless Security Camera
Ring Stick Up Cam Battery
GE CYNC Smart Indoor Security Camera
Best Security Camera With Built-In Storage
GE CYNC Smart Indoor Security Camera
Ring Video Doorbell 4
Best Doorbell Camera
Ring Video Doorbell 4
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Andy Nguyen has been a professional freelance writer for over three years and has written hundreds of articles. He has loved computers and technology ever since he started gaming as a kid back in the 1990s. He's the person everyone he knows turns to for help with tech, too. Andy also runs a blog where he provides information and guides for students on becoming more productive.
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Jon Bitner is a freelance writer who focuses on topics related to video games, science, and technology. His work can be found across the web, although he's a regular contributor to Digital Trends, Slickdeals, TVGuide, CordCuttersNews, and TheGamer. Before starting his writing career, Jon worked in the biotechnology industry, where he produced monoclonal antibodies to treat cancer patients.
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